Over the course of my time as a journey reporter for Insider, I’ve spent greater than 30 nights staying in leases throughout Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and South Korea.
I have been overlaying regional journey for Insider for a 12 months, which has meant spending a number of time in leases. I’ve spent nights in luxurious resorts in Indonesia, hostels in Singapore and Thailand, a campervan Airbnb within the Philippines, and a transport container resort in Malaysia.
Once I first began making reservations for these leases, it felt daunting — I used to be unfamiliar with the areas and there weren’t many dependable opinions on-line.
However after testing out dozens of lodging, I’ve discovered how to decide on the proper lodging, e book effectively, and get monetary savings.
Listed below are seven of my high suggestions for vacationers.
1. Learn latest opinions on web sites like TripAdvisor and lookup vlogs to get a practical image of what the rental is like.
Journey writers and bloggers can have good suggestions, however I feel it is extra useful to seek out out what the typical individual skilled throughout their keep.
Google Critiques and TripAdvisor have each confirmed to be good locations to gut-check the fact of hostels, lodges, and resorts. I counsel filtering opinions to point out the latest ones.
For those who’re staying in an Airbnb or someplace distinctive like a glamping tent, vlogs on YouTube and TikTok is perhaps helpful.
Pictures on-line, particularly these posted by the rental’s administration, might be deceiving, so do your analysis and have a look at as many opinions as doable earlier than reserving.
2. Search for the rental on Google Road View earlier than you e book.
At any time when I journey to distant areas, I take to Google Maps and discover satellite tv for pc views of the rental to see its situation.
I additionally stroll just about across the neighboring streets of the rental to see what the environment is like, and if I must make particular transport preparations in case it is situated up a mountain or in a rural village.
3. If one thing in regards to the on-line itemizing appears off, give them a name earlier than you e book.
Southeast Asia is understood for its distinctive leases — however they’ll generally be sketchy. A number of movies on TikTok have proven vacationers mistakenly reserving deserted resorts in locations like Bali.
I’ve stayed in distant leases together with a rural mountain cabin in Thailand and a “haunted” resort in Malaysia. I used to be initially skeptical of those leases, in order an extra precaution, I known as reservations earlier than reserving to ensure the place remains to be up and operating.
I additionally requested for additional data like latest photographs of the rental, directions on learn how to get there, and who to contact in case I bought misplaced alongside the way in which.
4. Keep away from listings the place visitors complain about being “scammed” or it’s possible you’ll end up paying an extra payment in individual.
Look out for the phrases “scammer” and “overcharge” in opinions when doing all of your analysis — you may simply be requested to pay additional upon arrival.
Throughout a visit to a price range resort in Malaysia, I used to be requested to pay an extra 80 ringgit (round $18.50) upon arrival, regardless of have already pay as you go on-line.
For those who’re backpacking and are carefully watching your price range, it might be finest to keep away from these leases altogether regardless of a budget marketed charges.
5. Name upfront to request early or late check-in — or the rest, actually.
I’ve discovered that the majority boutique leases are keen to take particular requests like early check-in or late check-out — so long as the request is made upfront.
The one exception to this are hostels and price range motels, the place there’s a strict hourly fee. In that case, your finest transfer will probably be to verify if there is a discounted fee for early check-in.
6. Be affected person when attempting to snag offers — generally it is price refreshing the web page a pair instances to get a lower cost.
Flash offers and costs can seem on reserving websites with out prior discover, so I usually refresh the reserving web page a number of instances earlier than making my cost.
For instance, I booked a room with a personal plunge pool in a luxurious resort in Singapore for underneath $400 on a third-party web site. Though the worth listed was nearer to $600, a flash sale netted me a considerable low cost.
7. For those who can, journey within the low season.
For those who’re touring in Southeast Asia the place the climate is scorching and humid all 12 months spherical, it is perhaps price making your reserving throughout the monsoon season, when it is more likely to a bit rain extra.
As long as you are not reserving a rental in a flood or landslide-prone space, it is completely high quality to e book throughout a much less busy season — not solely will you get monetary savings on lodging, however vacationer sights are additionally more likely to be much less crowded.